KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Gingrich: Romney’s Mass. Health Plan Too ‘Liberal’ For S.C. GOP

Fresh from his S.C. victory, Newt Gingrich appeared on three Sunday morning talk shows. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum were also interviewed.

USA Today: Gingrich: I Can Go To 'Toe-to-Toe' With Obama
On Face The Nation, Gingrich said South Carolina voters also realized how "liberal" Romney was when he governed Massachusetts, particularly his health care plan. "Clearly, he was way to the left" of South Carolina voters, Gingrich said (Jackson, 1/22).

National Journal: Gingrich Says He's a Threat to Obama 
[Gingrich] argued that South Carolina revealed the former Massachusetts governor as unelectable. "Governor Romney’s core problem was that he governed as a Massachusetts moderate, which, by the standards of Republican primary voters, is a liberal," he said (Cook and Jaffe, 1/22).

Bloomberg Businessweek: Romney to Release Tax Forms Jan. 24 Saying to Delay Was Mistake
Gingrich, who has worked as a health-care and housing policy consultant, has tried to portray Romney as a member of the Wall Street elite who might have something to hide (Bykowicz, 1/22).

Dallas Morning News: Gingrich’s Upset Win In South Carolina Scrambles GOP Race
[C]onservatives have been resisting a shotgun marriage with Romney, suspicious of his past support for abortion rights and gay rights and angered by the health care plan he signed into law in Massachusetts, which has many of the key elements of the law signed by President Barack Obama (Hoppe and Slater, 1/21).

Boston Globe: Romney To Release Tax Returns On Tuesday
On CNN, [Gingrich] accused Romney and his aides of erasing their hard drives as they left the Massachusetts governor’s office. He also accused Romney’s staff of wiping out evidence of their deliberations as they helped craft Massachusetts’s universal health care law (Levenson, 1/22).

Politico: Santorum: 'Absolutely No Pressure' To Quit
"Newt is a very high-risk candidate," Santorum said [on CNN]. "Not only is he wrong on the individual mandate, in other words government-mandated health insurance, which he supported for 20 years, he's wrong on the Wall Street bailout" (Weinger, 1/22).

The Associated Press: Analysis: Gingrich Win Means Grueling GOP Fight
Even if Santorum revives his campaign in Florida, the fundamental intraparty debate will be the same. Voters associate Gingrich and Santorum with social issues such as abortion, and with unyielding fealty to conservative ideals. That's in contrast to Romney's flexibility and past embraces of legalized abortion, gun control and gay rights. ... Despite their contrasting personalities, Romney and Gingrich don't differ greatly on policy. Both call for lower taxes, less regulation, ending "Obamacare" and a robust military (Babington, 1/22).

CNN had results of an exit poll which found that of the people who thought abortion was the most important issue, 51 percent voted for Santorum, 29 percent for Gingrich, 13 percent for Ron Paul and 6 percent for Romney. Health care was not one of the four issues cited.

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.